Presentation Night was here.
Leading up to the end of term I had considered Mac might, in light of his performances this year, garner an award.
However, as the night drew nearer there were no questions raised as to how Mac might make it up on stage, where he would sit etc – so I pretty much ruled it out.
Over dinner, before presentation night, we discussed with Mac the likelihood he wouldn’t be getting an award. We explained how so few awards are actually given out it means the majority of students don’t get them and how, some people never, ever receive an award despite working hard their whole life.
On arrival at our local ‘Entertainment Centre’ (our venue for the evening) we were greeted by Mac’s teacher, Mrs R, who pointed me in the direction of the rest of the class.
Unaware of what was happening behind me Mac and I trundled off to get him seated.
Meanwhile, Mrs R had pulled Shawn aside and said
“right, Mac is getting an award – can you check the best access route onto the stage for me… oh, and don’t tell Gina as it is a surprise”.
Needless to say I was enormously proud of our little boy for receiving his first ever ‘big’ award for “Maths and Communication” – proud that he truly earned this award and proud, once again, that his teacher took the extra effort to explain to the entire audience how Mac does his work to ensure this was not seen as a ‘sympathy’ award.
I was also absolutely thrilled to have had the opportunity to get the same “surprise” other parents get to enjoy.
I have (occasionally) reflected privately on the fact that as Mac’s mum I don’t really get to experience surprises with the ‘little things’ like other parents do. There always seems to be planning and involvement in most areas in order to simply make things appear to happen spontaneously.
To have Mac’s teacher go to the effort of ensuring this was a surprise was almost overwhelming – I felt, and still feel, so very privileged at the amazing gift she gave me.
I know as parents of children with disabilities we often talk about the concept of “getting it”.
Mrs R absolutely “gets it”.
We have had a great 12 months – it certainly feels like this was “our year”.